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#Study Shows #SocialMedia More #Entertaining than #Entertainment

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In the UK, the average internet user spends 2 hours and 51 minutes online every day. Up until recently, studies showed that the largest fraction of that time was spent on entertainment websites like YouTube and Netflix. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, one year ago that fraction stood at 22.1%, but now it's dropped to 12.1%, whereas social media has climbed from 12.2% to just under 17%, making it the most frequent online activity.

This shift in the balance has a lot to do with mobile usage. Entertainment is still the most prevalent online pass-time on desktops, but on mobile social media is the most popular by a far wider margin, and mobile use is becoming more popular than desktop use, all in all. This has also accounted for a slight uptick in gaming usage online, since so many app games need to be connected to the internet in order to properly function.

What this is really indicative of is the way that online usage is changing in terms of time. Before, back in the distant past, you would 'go online' for an hour or two and take care of everything that needed taking care of and then sign off, possibly even switching your internet connection off entirely until you needed it again. Now, people are effectively always online, and people tend towards checking all their social media accounts in short bursts, or jumping onto a browser to check a specific thing, the whole process taking no more than a few minutes.

The thing that seemingly makes this statistic so odd is that often social media is a gateway to entertainment sites anyway, implying that people are spending more time jumping between entertainment sources than actually using them, but as stated above, it's more about cumulative time than bulk time. You might spend an hour or two watching Netflix, but you probably checked Facebook a dozen or more times that day, it all starts to add up eventually.

Consistent online presence is something that all the big social media heavy hitters are pushing towards. They want checking notifications to be as fluid and regular as looking at your daily schedule or even checking the time, a universally accepted part of the daily routine. The level of manual input we have in our online presence is gradually shrinking, in such a way that our social media profiles can manage our time with very little effort on our part. Bearing that in mind, entertainment is still very much the most popular kind of online activity, it's just that now we're online even when we're not.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#Study Shows #SocialMedia More #Entertaining than #Entertainment Reviewed by Callum Davies on Saturday, September 05, 2015 Rating: 5

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